Which supermarket is cheapest for brand name products?

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Where do you do your grocery shopping? Are you loyal to one particular supermarket? Or do you try to hunt down the best bargains?

Do you think that all supermarkets are fairly similar in price, especially when it comes to ‘name’ brands?

Consumer group CHOICE compared the prices of more than 150 national brand products at Aldi, Coles and Woolworths, and there was a clear winner when it came to the cheapest prices.

“Our price comparison found that across the range of 152 products we priced, brand name products were, on average, cheaper by 20 per cent at Aldi compared to Coles and Woolworths,” said CHOICE food editor Rachel Clemons.

“Some products did cost the same at Aldi as they did at Coles and Woolworths, and some were more expensive, but the majority of brand name products we surveyed were cheaper at Aldi. Savings went up to as much as 57 per cent.”

The biggest discrepancy in price that the CHOICE comparison found was Haribo sweet and sour bears that were 57 per cent more expensive at Woolworths than at Aldi.

While lollies are not an everyday item, dishwashing detergent was second on the list, with Morning Fresh Lemon 52 per cent cheaper at Aldi than at Coles or Woolworths.

Other regularly purchased items that were cheaper at Aldi included Kleenex Complete Clean Toilet Tissue (47 per cent), Nescafe Blend 43 (47 per cent), Colgate Optic White (44 per cent), Coke No Sugar (43 per cent) and Dove Nourishing Body Wash (38 per cent).


The CHOICE research revealed that the pack sizes were often very different between the supermarkets.

Of the 152 products compared, 36 were smaller at Aldi and 19 were larger, meaning that 36 per cent of the packs surveyed came in different sizes at Aldi than they did at Coles and Woolworths.

There were also differences in package sizes between Coles and Woolworths name brand products.

Ms Clemons claims that these different pack sizes make it difficult for shoppers to compare when they are trying to save money on groceries.

“Essentially, you can’t assume a lower price tag for a national brand at one retailer means you’re getting better value – you could just be getting less product.”


Ian Jarratt from the Queensland Consumers Association said it was important to look at unit prices and not just selling prices.

He explains some of the tricks to look out for when shopping, including:

  • products sold in packs and loose, e.g. carrots in 750g packs vs loose per kg
  • different brands of the same product, e.g. brand A cornflakes in 900g packs and brand B in 750g packs
  • different levels of convenience, e.g. cheese in blocks vs grated or sliced
  • regular prices and special offers, e.g. normal price for a single item vs a lower price per item for buying more than one.

Where do you do your grocery shopping? Do you buy name brand products when you shop? Does this make you want to start shopping at Aldi?

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Written by Ben


Total Comments: 35
  1. 0

    We don’t buy any of those products so that survey is of no use to us.

  2. 0

    Although very important price is not the only factor when shopping. I have to drive further to find an Aldi so only shop there if going past on another errand. Also if you need help packing the trolley or taking things out to the car our local Woolies and Coles offer great service but at Aldi there is no help. Even when I bought a flat pack garden shed the staff said they couldnt help me load it into the car and luckily a fellow shopper took pity on the old fart struggling in the car park and lent a hand. The other consideration is that there is no help desk at Aldi and if you need to take something back or check your dockets you have to queue up and wait for the regular shoppers. So it’s a no for my main shop, I’ll stick with the big two.

    • 0

      My local Aldi is closer than Woolies and Coles, but not by much. I’d have to turn off my very long street and go two over to get to Aldi.

      My local Woolies is undercover (in a shopping mall), but my local Coles is less than 50 metres away (with shade sail cloth covering the parking bays), both at the end of my very long street (around 400-450 houses).

      I only go to Aldi with my carer when he’s doing his shopping and takes me with him.

      I don’t shop for any of the items listed above.

  3. 0

    Have all 3 shops in my centre and I get what I want in each of them. I do like a delicatessen and Aldi does not really provide one, only packets. They are very good at chocolates but I do not buy too many of them. Like Coles for fresh beef and lamb. Do like Woolies for essentials like baked beans, pasta, facial tissues and toiletry products. Like Aldi because I can buy spirits and beer, wine in the same shopping trolley.

    • 0

      The supermarkets in the UK all have beer wine and spirit shelves integrated with general groceries as do the other countries in Europe which I have visited. It makes sense and it makes shopping easier so I dont know why we should have separate checkouts in our supermarkets. I used to think it was a legal requirement, a hangover from wowser days but if that was the case Aldi would also have to conform.

    • 0

      European countries have a drinking and smoking age of 16 and so it is easier for shops to have everything on the shelves with the groceries. Sunday trading is different in some places where there is a chain across the alcohol lines before noon.
      As a kid I was always send to get the groceries with wine and beer from the shops for my parents and also my neighbors. That was my pocket money; never got any money without doing something for it. Good system!

  4. 0

    We have a Woolworths and an IGA inn a town of 5000 odd people. Think I would be right inn saying there surveys don’t include trips into the country to towns like I live in. Having asked City sand local I can say that local woollies is more expensive.

  5. 0

    Lots of people like Aldi, however point number 1 is that I need grocery deliveries. I do occasionally go into Aldi for the Wednesday specials (not Saturday, I’m trying to avoid crowds). But sometimes the specials aren’t out on show to buy. If I ask, the staff say it didn’t arrive. But hallejulah, next day they might be there. Not worth my making a special trip, only to find the item isn’t there. Lastly, the queuing system is nuts, at least in my closest store. I get in a queue, only to have it announced, that checkout is closing. While I’m fuming and thinking, “I have a bus to catch!” So, I’ll stick with Coles or Woolies.

    • 0

      I gave up on the special buys because they rarely get what is in the catalogue and if they do get some it is so few they fly out the door, so how many trips do you have to make to catch it if you are lucky to see it while shopping there good luck, but we have to drive 40 minute round trip.

  6. 0

    Don’t buy much from supermarkets, I get all my veggies and fruit from local organic supplier (now delivering to the door) and other wholefood staples buy online in bulk, the few things I do get from a supermarket is usually from Woolworths, sometimes I get it delivered if I have enough to buy, stock up on frozen berries from them. So I guess it depends on what you buy, but overall I think the savings are quite minimal from one supermarket to another, although my local IGA is expensive.

  7. 0

    While I have no specific preference between Coles and Woolies, I will shop at either whichever is most convenient, I mostly shop at Woolies as they are closer and have a better car park than my nearest Coles. However I avoid Aldi irrespective of any perceived price advantage, they have a store adjacent to my local Woolies so it is not a case of more or less convenience. Coles (aka Wesfarmers) and Woolies are listed on the ASX and the majority of their profits are kept in Australia (I am so aware of people on this forum depend on refunds of franking credits). ALDI is a privately owned overseas company and all profits are sent offshore. I see no reason to support an overseas company when I can support an Australian one.

    • 0

      Quite right Eddy. German family company, heirs of Karl and Theo Albrecht (Al)brecht
      (Di)scount that’s where Aldi came from. Profits go to Germany but they do pay taxes here like payroll, company, wages and so on. Still call them an asset for Australia however not for Aussie shareholders.

  8. 0

    We all know that Aldi is cheaper but where I live there is no Aldi. One is 3.5 hours away and the.other is 4.5 hours away. Neither being worth travelling to for 20%.

    Come on Aldi get going and build a store in Mackay Queensland. I really miss being able to shop at Aldi.

  9. 0

    the list has 15 items, 13 of them are the same price in Woolworth and Cole’s, coincidence maybe?

  10. 0

    Aldi’s trolleys too deep for me to dive into!

    • 0

      They’re just as deep as the ‘original’ single child seat Coles shopping trolleys. I do sometimes have problems reaching the lower items, but there’s usually a staff member around to help me.

      Coles in my area now have double child seats. I don’t like them, as I have nowhere for my walking stick to sit whilst I shop, just like the smaller basket trolleys, the handles are far too low. They must think that I have very long arms (I’m 5’5″ – very short) and a shorter stride than I do. The smaller trolley wheels are too narrow and I usually stub my toes when using them.

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